Cast Iron Gift Guide
The season is upon us… So to speak. Thanksgiving, gift giving, all of it!
Leading up to the holidays this year, we’ve be participating in some gift events in the Northeast where people have been able to buy our cookware in person. Setting up for and getting to these shows can be difficult (bringing a lot of cast iron somewhere else is inherently difficult…), but I like doing these types of events. Whenever I’m able to actually connect in person with folks buying our cookware as gifts, they often want to tell me about the person that they’re purchasing it for.
On a personal note, it feels really good on my end to know that these items that I’ve spent a long time designing resonate so strongly with people and make them think of specific loved ones. Often times customers have immediate clarity on who will be receiving it and which piece is “the one.” Other times, there’s a little more of a conversation, perhaps some uncertainty about which piece would be the right fit.
I think that there are some guidelines that can apply pretty broadly to most folks, with obvious room for variation, of course. So, prefacing this post with the awareness of my own amount of bias, I figure I’d lend my thoughts on which pieces make sense for particular occasions, and particular people, just in case you might be uncertain as well…
First things first: You may be in a better position to make the right choice than you think. If you know the person that you’re buying cast iron cookware for, if you’ve shared a meal with them, start by considering that. How do they like to cook? What do they like to cook? Do they cook for themselves mostly? Do they host large gatherings? Where are they on their cast iron journey? If you have any of that information, you’re well on your way to making your selection with more confidence. If you’re still at a loss, consider whether or not they fall into one of the archetypes below, and go from there.
If they cook primarily for their own self, I’d suggest considering our 9in Skillet. Available with or without a self-basting lid, its size is ample for making a meal for a single person. Its ergonomic handle and nimble weight can be appreciated by a wide range of people, and its price point isn’t so high to be inaccessible. Its versatility is limited only by one’s own imagination - cook with it on any stove top, bake or broil with it in the oven, and it can even be used over an open flame like a campfire or grill.
The Cook in the Family
Does this person cook for their whole family or host large gatherings? If so, I’d say give some thought to our 12in Braising Pan. Also available with or without a self-basting lid, its size lends itself to family cooking and larger meals. It’s two-handled design makes it easy to lift and serve from, which makes for a seamless transition from the kitchen to the dinner table.
Does this person have a flair for dinner parties? Do they make a bit of a to-do about dessert? This is where a set of our 4.5in Egg Pans will be most appreciated. Their delightfully cute size is ideal for individually baked desserts - pies, tarts, brownies, cookies, cinnamon buns - whatever you can think of that has that perfect crust and gooey center that makes your mouth water.
A couple starting out can benefit from any and every one of the pieces that we make. If they haven’t already registered for the Entire Collection, (or if the cost of the entire collection of cookware is inaccessible), I’d point you to either our 9in Skillet or a pair of 4.5in Egg Pans. Our 9in Skillet is the most useful for day-to-day cooking and very well sized for a meal made for two. A pair of Egg Pans is both romantic and practical - nobody has to wait for their egg sandwich in the morning... In fact, our Entire Collection Set and our Essentials Set both include two of our 4.5in Egg Pans for this very reason.
Weddings are ideally an event that happens once in a lifetime. Cast iron cookware is a gift that can last as long as a marriage and be a part of the legacy that a couple builds as their family grows. If you are interested in adding any of our pieces to your wedding registry, you can do so by clicking the Zola button in any of our product pages.
Those Celebrating 6 Years Together
This one is for those of you into traditions… There is a practice long held between married couples regarding gift giving. On each year of their anniversary, they give each other a gift, made primarily of a particular material, different (but pre-determined) every year. The practice dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. For what it’s worth, the sixth year is iron… Whether the wedding was six years ago, or you want to make up for the year you missed - if you still feel like you need an “excuse,” this tradition might be just the one.
The New Friend
If you’re not too acquainted with this person, but you feel that you want to give them something sweet, our 4.5in Egg Pan is a solid choice. It’s our most affordable piece, and beyond its utility, it’s truly a precious object, able to be enjoyed and appreciated simply by holding it.
Hands down, our 3.5qt Dutch Oven. If this person makes bread, they probably know (or at least will soon) the value of a cast iron dutch oven. Lidded cast iron creates the ideal environment for bread to bake perfectly. The hot sidewalls giving it a good and crunchy crust, and the lid traps the right amount of moisture to keep the loaf from drying out.
If you’re sure that you want to give them cast iron cookware, but you’re still not sure which piece they’ll love best or use most, you can take out the guesswork and let them decide for themselves. We offer gift cards in any value, and they never expire.
Hopefully this guide helps you onto the right path. In the end, it often is really the thought that counts. But still - especially when you really nail it with someone, it does feel as good to give as it does to receive.